Feb 16, 2012

High Tech Theatre Reconfigures Itself Like an Aperture Test Chamber (And Also, Kind of Looks Like One)

Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus describes the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in downtown Dallas as a “theatre machine” – a machine the size of a building, full of mechanisms that can lift entire sections of seating.

The balcony levels can disappear into the ceiling of the main performance area, (hoisted on the same type of equipment they use to move the giant hanging scoreboards in stadiums). Its configurable floor can rise and fall to transform the room into everything from an opera house to a ballroom.

It takes a lot of manpower and the care of skilled technicians to alter the room, but in time lapse, it looks like something from one of my favorite video games.

But that’s not all. Let’s take a look at the outside.

We sometimes call this the Borg Cube, although there’s definitely something Portal-ish about it to me. There’s a balcony embedded into the side of the building, which makes it look unfinished – or maybe it looks like a place to portal up to.

The Patrons Lounge is even a long, black rectangular room running the length of the building, with observation windows looking down into it…although unlike any test chamber, it does have a pretty sweet view.

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